Arlington Resort Hotel gets a makeover in spa town

Updated August 28, 2022: The restoration of the Arlington Hotel is currently underway, with the second tower currently under construction and the first tower to be revealed at a later date. Improvements continue to be made inside the hotel.

The progress of the restoration of the Arlington Hotel.

There’s been a lot of excitement lately for those who appreciate the historic architecture of downtown Hot Springs as the historic Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa finally begins a facelift. Some scaffolding could already be spotted earlier this month on the central avenue side of the hotel, but now the left tower at the top of the hotel is surrounded by construction scaffolding as work crews begin the exterior stucco repair and replacement process and apply fresh paint. historic building exterior. From a statement on the Arlington Hotel Social Media regarding the upgrades, “they are thrilled to make these upgrades, which they hope will be done just in time to celebrate the hotel’s 100th anniversary.”

A focal point of downtown Hot Springs, the Arlington Hotel built in 1924 is a big part of the historic fabric of Hot Springs. A popular resort destination historically for U.S. Presidents, athletes like Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, silent film stars like Rudolph Valentino, and other celebrities, literary figures, and politicians, the Arlington continues to operate though as shadow of itself. As a modern tourist destination, the hotel has been simultaneously judged and championed by visitors and Hot Springs residents alike over the years, eager to see these updates come to pass.

Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey, his wife and silent film actress Estelle Taylor and silent film legend Rudolph Valentino at the Arlington Hotel circa 1926.

Al Rajabi, CEO of Sky Capital Group, owner of the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa, was candid on the subject of historic preservation and its importance to his particular hotel. In a public statement regarding the demolition of Saint Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Rajabi discusses the initial investment made in the Arlington Hotel and its 450,000 square feet and the challenges they faced with the decades of neglect it had suffered before their purchase of the building.

Although Rajabi’s statements regarding the demolition of Saint Scholastica Monastery may have fallen on deaf ears, the action happening right now at the Arlington Hotel and Resort is an encouraging sight for anyone in the state who appreciates history and the value of historic architecture. I hope to continue to see more improvements like this in buildings, especially in the downtown area, so that future generations can truly appreciate the history of our past.

Which state buildings would you like to see rehabilitated? Which building rehabilitation projects are you most interested in? Are there historic properties that aren’t getting the attention they deserve? Let us know and maybe we’ll do an article about it at Arkansas Money and Politics.

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